Visitors from throughout Maine and beyond have enjoyed hiking up Tumbledown Mountain (3,068 feet) and surrounding peaks for the better part of a century, most of them never knowing that they were crossing private land. Hikers assumed that the land was part of nearby Mt. Blue State Park in Weld, a highly popular park that receives roughly 70,000 visitors each year. Tumbledown’s summit –with three peaks, an enormous cliff face and an alpine pond — was accessible only through the forbearance and generosity of the landowners. Recognizing the public value of this exceptional resource, State officials negotiated with multiple landowners to acquire Tumbledown and other key lands in the vicinity (linking to and expanding Mount Blue State Park). Efforts were spurred on by the sale of a parcel adjacent to the Park that was subsequently cut heavily and cleared for development.
Many groups and individuals lent support to this complex and far-reaching project, which received three Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) program grants. The LMF contributions helped to raise matching funds from the federal Forest Legacy program and private foundations. The Trust for Public Land’s Maine Field Office worked closely with the Tumbledown Conservation Alliance (a coalition of dedicated local groups and individuals) and the Maine Department of Conservation on the project, supported by many other valuable partners.
In addition to securing the summit and northern slopes of Tumbledown Mountain, the State and its partners acquired a 2,468-acre tract with a deer-wintering yard and multi-use trail; parcels bordering the Webb Lake Campground and East Brook; all of Jackson and Blueberry mountains; the entirety of Jackson Pond; and easements on an additional 12,030 acres in the vicinity. The project partners are working to conserve the southern slopes on Tumbledown as well (including several popular trails).
Please note that ATVs and snowmobiles are permitted only on the one designated, multi-use trail.
Western Mountains – Oxford, Franklin, Somerset
Directions from nearest town
DeLorme Maine Atlas and Gazetteer, Map 19, C 1-3. The park is located 14 miles west of Wilton along Route 156/142 in Weld (just opposite Webb Lake). Trails up Tumbledown leave from the Byron Notch Road 5.8 miles west of Weld Corner. Camping reservations for Mt. Blue State Park can be made on-line at the link noted above.